Marathon Quest: Book launch
Saturday, Sept. 29th 2012. 1pm to 4pm.
Location: Bentley's Books, Cochrane, Alberta
TriOil-Soccer Quest 42 (Quest #5)
Friday Oct. 5th 6.00pm to Sunday Oct. 7th noon
Location: Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre,
At 9.00pm on Friday September 21st I was standing
next to a large number "24" painted on the road on the Island of
Rarotonga in the Pacific Ocean. It was raining and I had 100km to
run. A small group of people stood on the side of the road and
counted down "5,4,3,2,1" and I was off. This was the start to my
fourth Quest and as I headed into the night, with my headlight
throwing a dim spot on the road, I knew it was going to be a long
The Round Rarotonga Road Race is 31kms so I had to do three
loops plus 7 kms to make the 100km. Every km was marked on the road
and I soon passed markers "25" and "26". The rain was continuous
and my socks and shoes became soaked. I knew this was going to
cause big problems later on. I reached marker "0" after 45 minutes
and I was feeling wet but good. Only three loops to go.
The island has a public bus system. On the front of the bus it
says "Clockwise" or Anti-Clockwise". To be honest it really doesn't
matter as there is on wrong way. All roads lead to Rome. There is
another bus service that I had been told about: The Party Bus. The
first one passed me at 11.00pm. This is the pub crawl bus. The
strobe lights were flashing and techno pop was pounding out from
the interior. This is actually a great idea as it stops drinking
I was told to be aware of the number of dogs. However I have to
say that the island has the friendliest dogs I have ever met. They
seem to practice "Adopt-a-Visitor". I had met several people who
had had dogs befriend them. They weren't aggressive or pushy just
friendly. I made a friend on my first loop at km 15. He trotted
next to me for 20 minutes then turned around. I would meet him
again on my next two loops.
I completed my first loop in 3hrs 50 mins and at the start point
Val joined me. Val and Harold had signed up for Cook Island Quest
100 and had been fund raising for Right To Play. This would be
Val's longest run, twice round the island, but she had been
training hard. I was starting to slow down as my feet were turning
to prunes and beginning to blister. Our objective was to get around
the island, to the start line, by 5.30am the start of the official
race but I knew this was slipping away. I told Val to go on but she
stuck with me.
We arrived at the start line at 6.45am and everyone had gone.
Val went ahead and I started to walk. My feet were fried and I was
starting to fall asleep on my feet. Then an angel arrived. Her name
was Toru and I had met her at a Rotary Club meeting the previous
Wednesday. She saw the condition I was in and asked if I like a
coffee and chocolate bar? I would run 100km for a coffee and
chocolate bar. Soon the sugar and caffeine kicked in and I started
to feel better.
As we continued walking around the final loop she picked bananas
off the trees and feed me. She got me a coconut, made a hole in it
and I drank the water. The rain continues and I was losing body
heat big time. I was starting to shiver. I asked Toru if she had a
jacket I could use and another miracle, she pulled a wind proof
hoody out of her back pack. It was a little short in the arms but
fitted around the body.
At 1.15pm we saw the "30" km marker on the road. Only one km to
go. Thank heavens. As I shuffled across the finish line a small
group of supporter cheered me in. I was given a flower lay, an
engraved shell medal and another coconut to drink. Rarotonga is an
amazing island with amazing people. Thank you.
Quote of the Day
"A true leader walks his talk"
Adity sarvjeet Bhalla
Enjoying coconut water during Cook Islands Quest
100 on Rarotonga